Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/21/14 at 12:17 PM ET
from Katie Baker of Grantland,
Joe Louis Arena has its long history, TD Garden has its swagger, and the Bell Centre has that certain je ne sais quoi. But if I were compiling a list of favorite places to go to watch a hockey game, the Shark Tank in San Jose would be very close to the top. (Notice I call it the Shark Tank, and not the “SAP Center” — I’m still bitter that the place is no longer named after a personal computer introduced in 1995, which was just so perfectly Silicon Valley.)
The sport of hockey has long embraced the absurd — from the gap-toothed smiles to the playoff beards to the logic around letting players punch each other in the face — and few arenas gather all that kooky energy together better than the one in San Jose. Before you even enter the Shark Tank, you can sense it; there are few things funnier than watching a group of middle-aged men clad fully in aggressive shades of teal — a Hertl, a Ricci, and an Ozolinsh! — hopping off the commuter train and striding purposefully toward the arena like they’re about to pitch a VC firm. Actually, I lied: What’s funnier is watching them, later in the game, do “the chomp” with their arms while ominous Jaws music plays and an opposing player gets sent to the penalty box. Also, I forgot to mention that the players skate out of a giant shark head, complete with lit-up red eyes, at the start of every game. What’s not to love?
Of course, it helps that the on-ice product has been one of the NHL’s best over the past decade. The Sharks haven’t missed the playoffs since 2003, which gives them the NHL’s second-longest active postseason streak, after Detroit.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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